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County Town: Gloucester
Population: 1,165,00
Area: 1259 Sq miles 3260 Sq k
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The Forest of Dean

Welcome to a genuinely magical place, where you can really get away from it all and enjoy yourself. The Forest of Dean, the ‘Queen of Forests’, has something for everyone – unique and fascinating heritage, spectacular and varied landscapes, plus warm and friendly hospitality. Come once and you’ll certainly want to return.

This special area became the country’s first National Forest Park in 1938 and is England’s largest oak forest. Yet to many it remains an undiscovered secret. Tucked between the rivers Wye, Leadon and Severn in western Gloucestershire, it has always been a place apart, living life in its own way.

Sound the ideal escape? It’s actually really easy to reach, so perfect for short breaks or spur-of-the-moment getaways.

Off the beaten track from crowds, The Forest of Dean keeps an unspoilt, intriguing sense of character that goes back centuries. You’ll come across all sorts of surprises, ancient Forest Laws and traditions, sheep badgers and Freeminers, as well as the unmistakeable local dialect. Its mysterious scenery inspired authors JK Rowling , JRR Tolkein and Dennis Potter

All year round, there’s fresh air and adventure, too. Lose yourself in 27,000 acres of ancient woodland, or explore more open, rolling countryside and tempting vineyards to the north. The Severn Vale to the southeast is famed for its tidal bore and orchards, and the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the west is walking and river sports heaven.

Kick back and relax, or get the adrenaline pumping canoeing and rock climbing. The Forest of Dean is a fantastic outdoor playground for all ages and abilities. With the Ryder Cup 2010 happening nearby, there are also some great opportunities to practise your golf swing.

Another attraction of the Forest is the number of independent artists and craft workers you’ll find here. Not for nothing is the area known, along with the neighbouring Cotswolds, as Britain’s Rural Capital of Culture. The diversity of events, festivals and sport will certainly keep you entertained.

And you’ll be well fed! Artisan producers thrive in the rich landscapes – no need to worry about food miles when lunch is grown on the doorstep and market towns and villages promote local flavours.

Country pubs, quality hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and camping sites offer accommodation to suit every pocket and inclination. Just choose what suits.

For more information go to our website for full listings of accommodation, camping, attractions, activities and events.

We look forward to seeing you soon in the Forest of Dean.

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This page visited 10992 times since 28th April 2009

Previous destinations of the month:

Starry Starry Night, Look You – Dark Skies Tourism, South Wales | Mills and Hills in Central Lancashire, Lancashire | Get Fit on the North York Moors, North Yorkshire | A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December, Dorset | Nottinghamshire – Rural and Urban, Nottinghamshire | The Test Valley, Hampshire | Ashdown Forest, Sussex | The Rugged Northumberland Coast , Northumberland | The Resorts of North Devon, Devon | The Queen's London, London | Denbighshire , North Wales | York and Its Surrounds, North Yorkshire | The High Weald of Kent, Kent | Leisure, Luxury and Retail Heaven in Leeds , West Yorkshire | Rejuvenate Yourself in Rejuvenated Belfast , Belfast | Seasonal Fun in Brum, West Midlands | Autumn in the Southern Chilterns, Buckinghamshire | Cheshire Peaks and Plains, Cheshire | Essex’s Colne Valley, Essex | Cardigan Bay, West Wales | South Wales Valleys, South Wales | Highland Perthshire, Perthshire | South Downs National Park, Sussex | Royal Wedding London, London | Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire | The Oxfordshire Cotswolds, Oxfordshire | Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire | Edinburgh at Christmas, Edinburgh and the Lothians | Marvellous Manchester, Greater Manchester | The National Forest, Derbyshire | East Lothian, Edinburgh and the Lothians | Regency Brighton and Hove, Sussex | Isle of Purbeck, Dorset | The Somerset Levels, Somerset | Llandudno, North Wales | Hereford, Herefordshire | Cheltenham, Gloucestershire | Bristol, the Great West City, Bristol | Weardale, County Durham | Festive London, London | Islay, Isle of Islay | Blackpool and the Lancashire Coast, Lancashire | The Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire | Land of the Prince Bishops, County Durham | The North Cornwall Coast, Cornwall | Torbay, Devon | Dumfries & Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway | West Highland Way, Argyll | Caithness and Sutherland, Highlands | Harrogate & its Surrounds, North Yorkshire | Sheffield, South Yorkshire

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On this day:
Original Globe Theatre Burns Down - 1613, Battle of Cropredy Bridge - 1644, 1st Edition of the Daily Telegraph - 1855, Sons and Lovers Published - 1913, First British Credit Card Launched - 1966
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